Do you ever go through phases with your cooking?
I may go through a Greek cooking phase (natch!)
An American South phase (regularly)
And sometimes, an Asian food phase.
What got me into my Chinese cooking phase was a cookery challenge on another food blog ‘Belleau Kitchen’, where a book and recipe are randomly chosen off one’s bookshelves.
In order to make sure that I didn’t cheat in any way, shape or form I asked my daughter to choose a book with her eyes closed, then open the book randomly, put her hand on a page and I would cook the recipe on that page.
The book she chose was Ching-He Huang’s ‘China Modern’.
And the recipe? Well, you’ll have to wait another day for that.
But that’s how I got into the Chinese cooking phase….luckily Birmingham has a thriving Chinese community, near to the town centre, there are numerous Chinese supermarkets within walking distance, so off I went clutching my pennies, with a vague idea of what I wanted and walked out with spring roll wrappers, wanton wrappers, Chinkiang black vinegar, yellow bean paste, panko breadcrumbs, glutinous rice flour, noodles and a pretty bowl….
Yup, a good haul!
Maybe one or two of these will be used in the monthly challenge….maybe…..:-))
But here’s what I made this time- my first attempt at anything vaguely sushi-ish.
Which were a huge hit in my house, I have orders to make them again! I even had one daughter search in the fridge for them the day after ‘Mom, are there any more of those sushi duck things?’
Here’s the recipe….
Peking Duck Nigiri Sushi
1 large duck breast fillet, skin on (I used 2 smaller ones)
For the marinade:
half a teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp hoi sin sauce
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
For the Sushi rice:
150g shortgrain sushi rice, washed until water runs clear
240 ml water
half a teaspoon salt
2 tbsp mirin
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp hot water
12 fine slices cucumber
12 fine slices spring onion.
Mix marinade ingredients in a bowl, place duck in bowl and leave to marinate for as long as possible, ideally overnight. Unfortunately I left mine in the marinade for all of ten minutes, but it was fine.
Drain the marinade into a pan and bring to a boil, this makes an amazing dipping sauce for the duck, yum, yum!
Preheat your oven to 220 deg. C.
Place duck, skin side down in a wok or grill, cook for 1 minute on both sides until golden-brown. Place on a roasting tray and cook for about 15 minutes.
I let mine cook for 20 minutes as I have an extremely anti-pink-meat husband!
Put the rice and measured water in a pan with a tight-fitting lid, boil the rice until only a little water remains, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until water is completely absorbed.
Remove from the pan and let it cool down for about 10 minutes, mix the seasoning ingredients in a bowl and pour into the rice, mix with a flat wooden spoon or spatula.
Take a tbsp of the sushi rice and shape into an oval mound (the rice is extremely sticky, so try wetting your hands beforehand, place a cucumber slice on top.
Slice the duck into lovely pieces, place on top of the rice mounds, shove a few into your mouth while no-one’s looking.
Yep, you read right. Oh my Gosh! Are they GOOD!!
Place slices of spring onion on top.
Serve with that yummy dipping sauce.
Serves one. Erm, sorry, serves 4.
An uncomplicated and tasty noodle and minced beef dish.
For the sauce:
250ml chicken stock
3 tbsp hoi sin sauce
2 tbsp Shaosing rice wine or dry sherry
1 tbsp chilli bean sauce
1 tbsp groundnut oil, or other flavourless oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
350g minced beef
200g dried vermicelli rice noodles (I used ordinary wheat noodles)
1 spring onion, finely chopped
small handful coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely sliced into matchsticks.
Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl.
Heat a wok over high heat, fry garlic for less than a minute, add beef and fry until browned.
Pour in sauce, bring to a boil and cook for about 4 minutes.
Cook the noodles, drain then divide between 2 bowls, sprinkle over meat sauce, then garnish with spring onion, coriander and carrot sticks.
(I mixed the noodles and meat sauce together)
Both recipes adapted from ‘China Modern’ by Ching-He Huang.